Something Blue 💍

How to Use Styled Shoots in Your Marketing (+ Our Favourite Ottawa Shoots of 2019)

We’re big fans of styled shoots here at Something Blue! As prospective brides, we love seeing how different styles and products relate together to create a wedding atmosphere, and it gives us the opportunity to see which vendors in Ottawa work well together. If we already have a venue we love, seeing a styled shoot there with gorgeous flowers and decorations will help us pick those vendors because we’ve already seen what they can do in the space we want to be in.

From a marketing perspective, styled shoots tick so many boxes. They get wedding professionals out into the community and make connections with complementary vendors, and allow them to push their creative boundaries. Styled shoots are also ridiculously shareable, and since you’re working with many other people, you’re able to cross-promote to your audiences and scale the effects of product photography.

Styled shoots are great for a number of purposes. Some of our favourites are:

  • Show off your skills or your offering as a vendor or venue
  • Push your creative boundaries – try something new that you know your dream bride would love, but haven’t had the chance to do yet
  • Launch a new product or service (you’ll need the content anyway, better get a little help from your friends!)
  • Offer potential clients a behind-the-scenes sneak peek at what you’ll be up to on their wedding day
  • Use the shoot as an opportunity to get published in popular wedding magazines and blogs

Our Favourite Styled Shoots of 2019

2019 was really the year of the styled shoot, especially for Ottawa wedding vendors! We scoured social media to find our favourite styled shoots of 2019 to share them with you and to share some tips on the best ways to reuse the photos/videos for your marketing activities. Ps. If you want to see more photos from each of these styled shoots make sure that you are viewing this post on a tablet, laptop or desktop.

Billie The Bluebird by Jacquie K. Cosmetics

(Photographer: Lauren McCormick Photography | Videographer: Grey Loft Studio | Makeup Artist & Bus: Jacquie K | Calligraphy: Avi Scribbles | Blooms: Capital Florist | Décor Rentals: Capital Florist & Wild Ivy Events | Cake Artist: Batter Up Bakery | Balloons: Bangin’ Balloons | Couple: @whycomeyoudonthaveatattoo & Machete Premium Cuts | Clothing: Machete Premium Cuts | Jacket: @moonchildletteringco)

This styled shoot was used to launch local makeup artist extraordinaire Jacquie K’s new service. We love how colourful, spunky, and full of glitter and sass this shoot was. The photos really paint a picture of how unique Jacquie K’s beauty bus is, and bring it into the world with a pop!

French Provincial – Umbrella Bar

(Event Planner: Maverick Event Planning | Venue: Umbrella Bar | Decor & | Flowers: The Gathering Event Co. | Photography: Paul Sanderson Photo | Hair & Make-up @erinheatherbridal | Wedding Dress: Fairy Dreams Bridal | Jewelry and hair accessories Sugar Cane and Co. | Cake : Dulce Couture Cakes | Stationery: Wishtree Invites | Place Cards: Dazed & Lettered | Model: @patriceraikova | Interior Design firm for venue: West of Main)

This shoot screams romance. From the lush petals, the draping greenery and the silky fabric it is all so sexy. We also love how they were able to capture all of the different vendors who played a role in the shoot and that we can see all of them in a group shot! Showing up in your feed, stories, and website increases your “know, like and trust” factor with potential brides- and grooms-to-be!

Till Death – All Saints

(Photographer: Lauren McCormick Photography | Concept + Styling + Decor: Wild Ivy Events ⁠| MUA + Hair: Jacquie K | Florist: @wearepollennation⁠ | Bridal Boutique: @revellebridal⁠ | Signage + Stationary + Jackets: @aviscribbles ⁠| Cake Design: @cake_whisperer⁠ | Videographer: @deardarlingfilms⁠ | Venue: @allsaintsottawa⁠ | Models: @rachel_brwn + @stefanmariano_)

Neon signs, tattoos, sexy candlelight and dark colours are what our badass rock’n roll dreams are made of! Talk about going against the grain for a styled shoot. Dark and moody and it attracts a completely different type of client than most of the styled shoots we have seen. If we were to write a blog post about this styled shoot we would fill it with rich keywords that would attract the type of client that either the makeup artist would want or that the photographer would like, etc. Considering the uniqueness of this shoot you could fill it with keywords like alternative bride ottawa, rock and roll wedding, and so much more.

Modern Renaissance Editorial

(Photographer: Lace & Luce | Design, Styled & Planned: Toast Events | Florist: Fleuriste Flower School | Decor: Lavish Events | Stationery: Little North Company | Dress: Catherine Langlois | Shoes: Elise Schmitz, Toast Events | Make-up: One Fine Beauty | Hair: Showpony | Cake: Serendipity Cakes By Olivia | Location: Ottawa Art Gallery | Rings: Stor By Margot)

This shoot was dreamy, ethereal and really transports you into another luxurious world. It was featured on a popular “fine art wedding” blog Amber & Muse out of Germany.

Styled Shoot Marketing Tips

You’ve organized all of the vendors, you’ve hired the models, you create the styled shoot of your dreams, you’ve taken all of the photos and then you’re done, right? Not quite.

There are a ton of ways to show your work and repurposed the content from one styled shoot multiple ways. There will be multiple photos including detail shots, decor shots, model shots and more that make for a wide range of photos that can be used on social media, Pinterest and your website. Continue reading below for some of our top tips on sharing your wedding styled shoot.

Social Media

There are a couple of rules of etiquette that need to be followed when posting a styled shoot. 1) Make sure you are following all of the participating vendors profiles (Instagram) and like their Facebook pages. 2) Tag everyone who participated in the caption and in the photo. Yes, this may be tedious but it is 100% worth it. It’s important to give credit where credit is due and you never know how your next bride or groom will find you. Read Julia’s story about how she found all of her Ottawa wedding vendors here – it may surprise you!

Make sure to use hyper relevant hashtags in your captions as well. The sweet spot in terms of the number of hashtags is eleven according to most Instagram experts.. Location based hashtags will make sure that you are truly speaking to your actual potential client base. Use hashtags like #ottawabride, #ottawaweddingvendor, #ottawaflorist, etc.

If you are lucky enough to have a video of your styled shoot there are many ways to share it. You can:

  • Embed it on your website
  • Upload snippets to Pinterest
  • Create IGTV videos with the footage
  • Upload it to YouTube & YouTube stories
  • Upload it to Facebook

Facebook watch is being heavily worked on by the masterminds at Facebook and they try to promote it in your feed. Put your styled shoot video on Facebook to increase your reach and awareness.

Lastly, share your photos and videos more than once! If you are only sharing the shoot once you are doing a disservice to the people who didn’t see the first post. With all of the different algorithms it is very likely that your potential clients will only see one out of “x” amount of posts that you do. The algorithm is constantly changing and evolving as well so the key is to post as if no one saw your last post. To read more about the algorithm check out this insightful blog post by Later.com.

Pinterest

You may be thinking “that’s weird Hannah and Julia – why didn’t you put Pinterest with social media?!” Well friend, it’s because Pinterest acts more like a search engine than a social media. When your future brides- and grooms-to-be go on Pinterest they are typing in keywords to bring up search results that will help them with their wedding inspiration.

It’s important to upload the photos of your styled shoot into a couple of different boards on Pinterest and to optimize them for search results. We recommend either using a scheduler like Tailwind or you can upload pins manually to Pinterest. Make sure to include a keyword-rich title and description, a thoughtful landing page (link it to your blog post about the shoot), edit the photo to make a couple of versions in the editor. You can upload these photos to different boards, one can be called the theme of the styled shoot and then you can repurpose the same photos on different boards (with different keywords) like a wedding dress board, a wedding jewelry board, décor board and more.

Bottom line is that the more photos and keyword iterations that you can upload to Pinterest the better chance you will have of getting more website hits and more form fills on your website of potential clients.

Website

There are a couple of different ways that you can use the photos on your website:

  • Stock images
  • Hero image on your front page
  • Blog

The best thing you can do with your styled shoot is to blog about it. Write a blog post of at least 400 words and fill it full of rich keywords that have to do with that shoot in particular. We also suggest that you write the city that you are in and that you link to all of the participants websites (not Instagram handles). Doing this will give you a huge boost in your SEO efforts.

Include a call to action to get in touch with you at the bottom of the blog, this can either be a contact form or an email opt-in for a guide that you may offer. Your potential clients already made it all the way on to your website – don’t let them go now without capturing a way to contact them!

One idea for an opt-in is a PDF download with all of the pictures and contact information for each vendor that took part in the styled shoot. This will help build your email list, segment your list to this specific type of bride (if you are doing a certain theme) and provide value for the person who downloads it.

Email List

Your current and past brides want to see what you’re up to. Yes, you – they want to hear from you and showing up in their inbox is probably the most intimate way that you can keep in touch.

The more activity they see from you the further you validate their decision to hire you. This may also be a great way to upsell to your current clients. For example, let’s say that you are a florist or decorator and you push your creative abilities in a new styled shoot. You share the photos with your current email list and they *love* what you did and want to include it in their wedding? Would that result in a higher contract amount? Most likely!

The great thing about an email list is that they can share it easily and directly with other engaged couples as well. This helps you further your reach and have more potential clients visit your website.

Traditional Tips

One of the more traditional ways that you can use to get your styled shoots out into the world is to submit the photos of the shoot to popular wedding blogs and publications. Having your work published is great for reaching new audiences. You can also use the photos to create printed collateral such as business cards, postcards, printed banners for a show, or a print ad in a magazine.

If styled shoots are a part of your marketing plan for 2020 and you’d like some guidance on how to use them in your marketing reach out to us today. We’d love to chat all about your styled shoot dreams!

xo,

Hannah & Julia